10 years of responsible investing
We launched our first Responsible Global Emerging Markets vehicle in early 2010. It was one of the first emerging markets (EM) funds that sought to integrate ESG (environmental, social and governance) considerations into the investment decision-making process.
It was challenging to launch such a fund at a time when ESG reporting in EM was very poor and companies were not used to (nor particularly open about) discussing ESG issues. We took up the challenge, backed by BMO GAM’s track record in running ethical funds, and the strength and expertise of our Responsible Investment (RI) team. These have proved to be robust foundations that we have built on to improve the strategy’s ESG profile over time.
Highlights over the period include steps we have taken to engrain sustainability considerations along the entire investment process, i.e. at the idea generation and portfolio construction stages. Examples include:
- to refine the conduct and product-based screening criteria and incorporate new ones, e.g. fossil fuel-related exclusions;
- to improve quarterly processes to check and monitor ESG related controversies; and
- to measure and report on the positive and negative sustainability impacts of our companies’ products and services within the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.